This Parmesan-crusted chicken recipe is made from chicken, Parmesan, egg, and nothing else. It’s baked, which means you don’t have to constantly tend it or clean up a spattered stovetop afterward. A swell weeknight dinner from the pantry.
How to make this Parmesan-crusted chicken recipe even easier
We know you’re in a hurry. A few tricks to keep things as close to perfect and easy as possible in the kitchen:
Pound the chicken to an even thickness
First, don’t ignore the instructions in the chicken recipe below to pound the chicken breasts to an even thinness. It may take a few more moments that you swear you don’t have, yet it ensures the chicken cooks quickly and evenly and remains juicy, which saves you time in the long run when you don’t have to run and grab takeout because no one will eat your overcooked chicken
Finely grate the Parmesan
Another thing to be careful of is to grate the Parmesan finely—use those really tiny holes on the grater–as tiny shreds of cheese have a stick-to-itiveness that larger pieces just can’t muster, which means the cheese stays put on the chicken, not the pan.
Bake the Parmesan-crusted chicken or sear it
Last, if you’d rather not heat up the kitchen in the middle of a sweltering summer, rather than bake the chicken in the oven you can sear it in a well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick skillet that’s just barely slicked with olive oil. All you need is a thin metal spatula (trust us on this) and impeccable timing so as to flip the cutlet the moment the cheese crust goes from gooey and still sticking to the skillet to crisp and ready to release.
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper.
Place the egg whites or whole egg in a shallow dish and beat lightly. Place the Parmesan on a plate and, if you like pepper, add some to the Parmesan and toss to coat. Dip the chicken breasts first into the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, then drop it in the Parmesan and turn it to coat, pressing the Parmesan onto the chicken to make it stick. Place the Parmesan-crusted chicken on the parchment.
Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the thickness. Immediately slide onto plates. Originally published July 06, 2010.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: I’m not a chicken breast eater—or cook. I can’t remember the last time I bought a boneless, skinless chicken breast. But when, on a weekday morning, I knew I’d be working late that night and this recipe landed in my e-mail inbox, it did seem like the perfect answer to the “What on earth will I make for dinner?” question since I had everything on hand except for the chicken.
The recipe worked quite well as written, with the one minor detail that my chicken breasts weren’t quite done after 15 minutes in the oven—18 minutes did the trick—likely because of the size. The final dish was a chicken breast that was perfectly cooked and moist but rather plain.
The recipe suggests an arugula and tomato salad to go with it, and it was a good match. It works, and it’s very, very easy to make. Perhaps one of the easiest things that I’ve made in more than 25 years of cooking. And that’s the key. I may not be a big fan of a simple chicken breast, but my health-conscious, non-cooking husband is. When we came to the all-important question, “would you make this again?” his answer was that he would make it himself, because it was better than any chicken breast he had cooked in the past, and it was really easy. So there you have it. A good, foolproof way to get a nice, healthy dinner on the table.
This was a simple dish that was surprisingly flavourful and doesn't use many ingredients so it's the type of thing that you can make when there's "nothing" for dinner. I didn't need all the Parmesan (only used half the recipe amount) and I finished the chicken under the broiler to get a little more crispiness.
It was a bit hard to get the Parmesan to stick to the chicken and I wonder if it might be worthwhile sticking Parmesan to the chicken, then dipping in egg then dipping in the cheese again? I finished the chicken under broiler for 5 minutes to get the coating crispy.